Additional Filtration In The Form Of A Surface Skimmer? Replacing Standard Filter Cartridges

Faytaya

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Planning on getting a surface skimmer with Api water test kit to monitor overstocked tank and eliminate surface scum. Nitrites and nitrates have dropped to almost 0, as well as nitrites, after a 50 % water change three days ago. (Test strips cannot detect any or in case of nitrites detects very little). My tank is overstocked, and I cannot find people to rehome some fishes. The crux of it all is this; I am on the verge (about a week) of my standard whisper nano filter needing a new cartridge. What can I do when I change it to stabilize the bioload so losses of beneficial bacteria are not too heavy? My tank has just fully cycled and I dont want a disaster following a cleaning. Thanks.
~desu~
 

fjh

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Well, I can't offer any advice about the skimmer since I've never used one, but I can help out with keeping the beneficial bacteria!

First of all, why do you need to replace the cartridge? You should never replace the cartridge unless it is literally falling apart. Even then, you should cut off as much material as you can to place ontop of the new cartridge. If you completely replace your filter media, you are removing over 90% of the bacteria and you essencially have to cycle your tank over again.
 

Zka17

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How big tank and what exactly you mean by "overstocked"? If it is seriously overstocked, then consider a bigger filter - until you get a bigger aquarium.

Otherwise, I would do as fjh said...
 

Faytaya

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Well, I can't offer any advice about the skimmer since I've never used one, but I can help out with keeping the beneficial bacteria!

First of all, why do you need to replace the cartridge? You should never replace the cartridge unless it is literally falling apart. Even then, you should cut off as much material as you can to place ontop of the new cartridge. If you completely replace your filter media, you are removing over 90% of the bacteria and you essencially have to cycle your tank over again.
Fjh thank you! It's only over a month old. I was wondering if a skimmer counts as additional filtration.

How big tank and what exactly you mean by "overstocked"? If it is seriously overstocked, then consider a bigger filter - until you get a bigger aquarium.

Otherwise, I would do as fjh said...
It's a standard 5 gallon with a whisper nano filter, I'm assuming it's a 10i by its looks.15630585931934170815513360735431.jpg
15630585931934170815513360735431.jpg
 

Zka17

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Freshwater skimmers, like the Eheim one, has a small sponge where could host some bacteria - but their primary goal is to keep the water surface clean (not to serve as biological filters)
 

Zka17

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Get a HOB (hang on back) filter, something like Aquaclear or the Sachem Tidal... you would free up space in the aquarium and get more biological filtration.

Yes, the loaches need a new/bigger home...
 

Faytaya

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So should I switch up to a 10 gallon capacity hang on back filter? The whisper seems to do okay, like I said my water params are finally stable. It just spits out this goo (surface scum) that I need to control (thus the call for a surface skimmer. ) Surface scum is too common in Betta tanks and I'm worried upping the ante will harm my girl cali. (The fish in my avis pic.)
 

Mr. Kgnao

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If I were to add something to that set up it would be a small sponge filter, it will break up the film on the surface and add a considerable amount of additional biological filtration capacity, but really that isn't a huge bioload for a five gallon, maybe just feed a little less.
 

Faytaya

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If I were to add something to that set up it would be a small sponge filter, it will break up the film on the surface and add a considerable amount of additional biological filtration capacity, but really that isn't a huge bioload for a five gallon, maybe just feed a little less.
My betta gets fet one time per day and the snails/loaches get a flake sunken for them every other. The sponge filter was definitely a suggestion made to me, but with my tank already established I'm better off running the skimmer instead of starting a new cycle. It's been a hectic month for this newbie lol

15630598750258510454271583225245.jpg


So maybe instead of a skimmer a nano sponge filter?
 
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coralbandit

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Faytaya

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The sponge and air will likely help you with the surface scum and be an aide to the whole system.
Kensfish now carries the Aquatop surface skimmer for 1/2 the price of the ehiem skimmer ..
Aquatop Internal Sureface Skimmer 65 gph
Many use skimmers on a timer at night only ..
That is a godsend to find a cheaper skimmer! Thank you so much for the help everyone!

I'm thinking to skip the skimmer and get the sponge filter instead, which may help.
 

Skavatar

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that looks like a Tetra Internal filter, i have 3 of the 20i filters.

you can customize the media like this:
 
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